When a “personalized” MATH program admittedly creates a virtual reality “Genie” to become a child’s best friend… what happens when email secrets start to go out, along with confessions about themselves and their home life? Many parents in America are very concerned. Who is behind the Genie? Who gets the information? When they found out that BILL GATES, RUSSIA, and the US DOE are promoting and/or paying for this…. let’s just say they became more concerned. Please read and share this so more parents can become aware of this child predator in the making! As for the Genie… Well, how would you feel if your child was emailing grown men, disguised as a friendly Genie? In another country?
The non-profit Reasoning Mind offers “personalized” on-line math curriculum and a computer-based “Genie” who is virtually a child’s best friend, and knows personal things about them, even confessions. As first noted in this RM document posted by a blogger known as Educray, Reasoning Mind math curriculum places a large emphasis on teaching Soviet-style morals, collectivism, and the importance of labor (Tudge, 1991). Reasoning Mind has given some parents reason to worry. So, let’s take a look at Reasoning Mind and see what could possibly cause concern.
“The Genie”, according to this Reasoning Mind report:
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that students are quite “attached” to Genie, who regularly receives (and answers) email on topics beyond the scope of the learning software, including jokes, requests for friendship, and confessions about students’ home life.”
“Every day, Reasoning Mind elementary students send hundreds of messages to the Genie, a “friend and mentor” who guides …students through their studies. Here’s our favorite student message from this week. And yes, the Genie does respond!”
Since Reasoning Mind offers “personalized” curriculum that knows and also remembers the student, a child can log into RM from home or school. And since it’s adaptive and personalized, RM and Genie will keep track of the child, will remember their profile. If RM and Genie can track a child into consecutive grades, like an old friend, Genie will be able to pick up the profile where the child left off last year. While proponents would say keeping track of learners’ profiles is beneficial, this massive accumulation of student information also begs the question of data privacy, risk, and security.
Given the many Supporters and In-Kind Contributors of Reasoning Mind, spanning the globe, parents wonder if organizations like Salesforce, Microsoft, Russian Petroleum, Google, Swagger Films, etc. are allowed access to their child’s profile or personal information. We know that data is money.
Money and Moscow Connections:
Non-profits must make public their tax returns (form 990). Here are 990 returns available for Reasoning Mind. Looking at the 2014 return tells us a lot; for starters, Reasoning Mind is connected.
Connected to each other: Page 32… FORM 990, PART VI, SECTION A, THE PRESIDENT AND CEO IS MARRIED TO ONE OF THE SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT’S AND THEIR SON IS (LINE2) ALSO A SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT
Reasoning Mind is Connected to Bill Gates, with this $300k grant for a math pilot as seen in Gates Foundation 2011 990 form (hint: take a look for other interesting awardees)
“There is a growing movement to explore the potential of the “noncognitive” factors—attributes, dispositions, social skills, attitudes, and intrapersonal resources, independent of intellectual ability—that high-achieving individuals draw upon to accomplish success… —it is the responsibility of the educational community to design learning environments that promote these factors so that students are prepared to meet 21st-century challenges.…Several private foundations have recently initiated programs to push the frontiers of theory, measurement, and practice around these and related factors, particularly for at-risk and vulnerable students. In national policy, there is increasing attention on 21st-century competencies (which encompass a range of noncognitive factors, including grit), and persistence is now part of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics….
“Anecdotal evidence suggests that students are quite attached to Genie, who regularly receives (and answers) email on topics beyond the scope of the learning software, including jokes, requests for friendship, and confessions about students’ home life. On the basis of these reports, it seems that the effect of Genie deserves more careful consideration, as the success of her design may contribute significantly to the high levels of engagement observed. Finally, we should consider the many game-like elements in its design, including a point system that rewards students for speed drills and puzzles. Once sufficient points have been accumulated, students may furnish their own virtual space within RM City or buy virtual books. Particularly at a young age, this kind of autonomy is likely very appealing.”
Is it any wonder that students areengaged in this video-gaming atmosphere? They are engaged because many like Dr. Kardaras, author of Glow Kids, know: online games are addictive.
Online Curriculum– or Spying on Children?
“We’ve been absolutely staggered by realizing that the computer has the capability to act as if it were 10 of the top psychologists working with one student… you’ve seen the tip of the iceberg. Won’t it be wonderful when the child in the smallest county in the most distant area or in the most confused urban setting can have the equivalent of the finest school in the world on that terminal and no one can get between that child and that curriculum?”-Dustin H. Heuston, “Discussion–Developing the Potential of an Amazing Tool,” Schooling and Technology, Vol.3, Planning for the Future: A Collaborative Model, published by Southeastern Regional Council for Educational Improvement, P.O. Box 12746, 200 Park, Suite 111, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709/ Grant from National Institute of Education, p. 8.
“The ability to remotely and accurately quantify interaction with a computer-based curriculum and assessment in the home defines a new vista in ALT research.”